It’s very easy to look at IBM Watson and assume that its power can only truly be exploited by the biggest and most advanced of technology companies. The reality is quite different.
Watson’s ability to process the questions asked of it, and deliver practical, intelligent answers in a language everyone can understand, can be of huge benefit to virtually every business. Whether it’s understanding customer habits better, or making business processes faster and more efficient, it can uncover insights beyond the limits of human endeavour to increase profitability and help businesses grow.
Whatever market you operate in as a Service Provider, Watson represents an enormous opportunity for you to grow your business with leading-edge innovation. To demonstrate, in this blog we’ll highlight five recent – and very different – examples of Watson adding a new dimension to the technology world.
A new partnership between IBM and one of the world’s biggest gaming engine platforms will open virtual and augmented reality functions to a vastly wider audience of developers.
Available on Unity’s Asset Store, IBM’s Watson Unity SDK (software development kit) will allow game creators to easily integrate Watson’s AI functions into their game engines. This means that, in the near future, gamers are likely to see many more games that incorporate recognition of voices and images, and speech-to-text, as central parts of the playing experience.
The development kit will allow ambitious developers to seize on a market that is expected to grow in the months and years to come. While VR and AR have been slow to take off in the gaming world, in no small part because of the high costs of the related hardware, the upcoming release of some newer and more accessible gear should stimulate real growth.
Artificial intelligence doesn’t have to be limited to the planet Earth. As work conducted aboard the International Space Station goes, help from AI will help the astronauts of the ISS up to speed with operations and keep the station itself running smoothly.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR), in partnership with other bodies including IBM and the European Space Agency, have created a Watson-supported floating assistance robot called CIMON. Trained to recognise voice commands from astronaut Alexander Gerst, and identify his face through its cameras, CIMON can advise on complex procedures on a step-by-step basis to help Gerst stay on the right track. Using an air propulsion system to move around the ISS, a Watson system will be installed to CIMON’s hard drive to counter the lack of internet connection in space.
The primary goals of CIMON are based around medical work, so that the technology might be able to assist with nursing or hospital care in the future.
With the general public becoming more intelligent about marketing by the day, companies are having to work harder and harder to come up with advertising that still resonates and generates sales. Watson is helping by analysing and understanding the customers to a level of granularity far beyond what was previously possible.
Los Angeles influencer network Influential is using a Watson-powered platform it calls Social Intelligence. Analysing comments on posts across a variety of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, it can deliver insights and information about the customer base of a particular brand or product.
Emphasising Watson’s ability to generate results in natural language, the reports that the platform produces are in the form of a PDF, detailing a marketing strategy that sets out the ideal channels to use in order to reach the target audience.
Efficient customer service has always been a common public complaint when it comes to banks. People want quick and easy access to their finances, and hassle-free resolutions when things go wrong. In the past, customer service conversations have always been person-to-person, but Watson is fast changing that.
Orange Bank, a new French operation set up by telecoms giant Orange, is using Watson to power an intelligent customer services advisor called Djingo. Should a customer lose their card, have it blocked or need to question a payment, for example, Djingo is capable of answering their queries in natural language.
Not only does this deliver a service that customers can rely on 24 hours a day, but thanks to performing around 24,000 customer conversations a week, Djingo learns from its experiences to help customers better in the future.
Health treatment advice
With so much data and research generated by modern healthcare, Watson is in a position to deliver a medical revolution. By assessing huge amounts of structured and unstructured data, Watson can spot patterns and deliver findings that doctors and other medical professionals wouldn’t have been able to spot. These developments could literally save lives.
For example, telemedicine vendor Teladoc is implementing the Oncology Insight With Watson service to allow doctors to get a second opinion on cancer care, as and when they need it. Watson can scour vast amounts of medical literature far quicker than a human could, potentially uncovering vital information that can guide better care.
According to a senior Teladoc official, one third of Watson’s insights come with a recommended change of diagnosis, and two-thirds are accompanied with suggestions of treatment changes, underlining how useful AI can be for the healthcare sector.
What does all this mean for Service Providers like you?
Quite simply, the broad spread of advanced and transformative applications that Watson can be used for suggests that there are very few businesses that it can’t help. That’s exciting news from a Service Provider perspective, as it means that there’s likely to be a variety of ways in which you can win new business by helping your customers move into the cognitive era.
In partnership with IBM, the power of Watson can be the centrepiece of your future growth.
You’re in pole position to develop leading-edge solutions powered by Watson when you partner with IBM. To find out more: